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    New Laptop for Revit


    I’m in the market for a new, relatively future proof laptop that I need for work as an Architect.
    I thought id post the system and specs of the laptop I am looking at getting, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    MSI GT780DXR-099US
    - 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen w/ 90% NTSC Color Gamut (1920x1080)
    - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2720QM, 2.2-3.3GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache)
    - nVidia GeForce GTX 570M 1,536MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11
    - 16,384MB (16GB) DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (4GBx4)-
    - 120GB Intel 510 Series Solid State Drive (Up to Sequential Read 470MB/s - Write 315MB/s SSD2 Serial-ATA III)
    - 750GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache Buffer (Serial-ATA II 3GB/s) - Default
    - 4X Blu-Ray Reader / 8X DVDRW/CDRW Super Multi Combo Drive -
    - Intel® Advanced-N 6230 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth-
    - Windows 7 Ultimate - 64-Bit

    Hi Caitk, welcome to the forums!

    I can't offer any advice specifically about an MSI laptop, but what kind of service/support do you get with that? If something breaks, are you going to be without a laptop for two weeks while it's shipped to and from a service center, or does someone come on site and fix it?

    The specs themselves are impressive. Since you're spending some serious money on this, I'd push the i7 to the 2820QM.

    If cost is an issue, are you sure you really need 16GB of RAM?... if you do, then the projects you work on are likely so large that cost shouldn't be an issue, and maybe you can bump up to the 2920QM. Do you really need Windows Ultimate? Just a couple things to consider.

    Except for the CPU, you can't really do much better than the specs you've listed. While I like MSI desktop components (video cards and motherboards) I'm not sold on MSI as a laptop brand... but maybe it will work out great for you. Good luck!


      Thanks iru69!

      I'm from Nz and we only get the basic models of laptops which are really over priced, so I am looking into getting one made up in US (looking at Xotic pc). AS for service and support, I'm really at a loss there, with the MSI I would get 1 year global cover and there is a service centre here in Auckland. I could get a similar sort of spec laptop and service in an Asus g74SX, but they are expensive to upgrade from the stock models. So warranty wise i'd be taking a huge risk... One of the best options would be to get a sager/clevo as they are cheap to ugrade, but with them I would get no warranty at all.

      16GB of ram is the default which the laptop comes with, I just thought it would make it more future proof and take advantage of dual channel or is that just over kill? Also windows ultimate comes as the default OS.

      At this stage I am mainly working on new residential building projects, but just got a new job which will incorporate a bit more commercial architecture too. Would I really need an i7 2920QM? I do want whatever I get to last a while.

      Would you suggest any other brands of laptops that I should look at?

      Thanks for your help mate!


        Ahh, NZ, well you may be at the whim of whatever is available there, so the following may not apply, but MSI seems to offer the GT780DXR in a number of configurations - the last few digits, "099US" is the configuration. E.g. "095US" might be a different RAM configuration or GPU, etc. Some outfits will let you configure it exactly the way you want it. But I'll leave that up to you to investigate.

        I was kind of kidding on the 2920QM, unless the money isn't a big deal, I usually stop one short of the fastest CPU (the fastest is usually where it becomes crazy money)... which is the 2820QM. However, it's all relative - each CPU bump is slightly faster than the next, so budget is where you end up drawing the line. Based on the size buildings you're doing, I'd rather have the 2820QM than the 16GB of RAM (it's unlikely you need more than 8GB for the foreseeable future)... you'll never upgrade your CPU, but if you ever need 16GB of RAM on this laptop, you can easily upgrade it. As long as the RAM is installed in pairs, you'll have Dual Channel, so 8 GB shouldn't be a concern (2 x 4GB). However, if that configuration isn't available to you, that's the way it goes... the 2720QM is more than fine.

        As you know, there's no such thing as future-proofing. I'd budget your purchase so you can replace it within 3 years... longer than that and it's going to be a dog by year 4 no matter how much you spend.

        I've read in various forums (i.e. take this with a grain of salt) that the build quality on Asus laptops are considered better than MSI laptops. But honestly, they're just not in my circle... as much as I think a lot of the Dell and HP stuff is junk, it's junk that we can get next-day on-site service for, so that's what we buy. Sorry I can't be more help there - maybe someone with more personal experience with those makes will chime in.

        You can take a look at this recent thread for laptop ideas, but again, I don't know what's availability and what pricing is like in NZ.



          Yeah in NZ the only laptops that you can upgrade to a small extent is Dell and Levono and the price jumps well over $4k NZD, so I figured if I'm going to pay that much, then I might as well get what I want in it.

          I'm ruling out Mac's and vaio as they are so expensive for what they have in them (well they are in NZ anyways!). I have no understanding of workstation GPU's and from what I have read on the net is that gaming CPU's are just as good? (take that with a grain of salt too :P)

          Taking into consideration build quality I had a look at the Asus G74sx from Xotic pc as it has almost the same specs to the Msi, just a slightly weaker GPU, it does come with a 2 yr global warranty, bag and mouse which is all good. Again there is no option to choose lower than 14GB of ram. I upgraded the screen to a 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen w/ 90% NTSC Color Gamut (1920x1080) from 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080), Would this be worth the extra $185 USD? There is also a matte option, but I assume having good colours is important.

          ASUS G74SX-A1 - BACK ORDER

          - 17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen w/ 90% NTSC Color Gamut (1920x1080)
          - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2820QM, 2.3-3.4GHz, (32nm, 8MB L3 cache)
          - Stock OEM Thermal Compound ( IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU Provided FREE with Processor Upgrade!)
          - nVidia GeForce GTX 560M 3,072MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11
          - 14,336MB (14GB) DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (3x4GB 1x2GB) - Special Free Upgrade!
          - Standard White Backlit Keyboard
          - - 750GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache Buffer (Serial-ATA II 3GB/s) - Default
          - - 750GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache Buffer (Serial-ATA II 3GB/s) - Default
          - 4X Blu-Ray Reader / 8X DVDRW/CDRW Super Multi Combo Drive- Default
          - Internal 8-in-1 Card Reader: MMC/SD/Mini-SD/XD/Memory Stick/MS Pro/MS Duo/MS Pro Duo
          - Intel® Advanced-N 6230 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth-
          - Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera
          - Asus G Series Matching Backpack made by Targus
          - Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell)
          - Asus G Series Gaming Mouse
          - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Pre-Installed + Drivers & Utilities Disk
          - 2 Year ASUS GLOBAL Warranty 24/7 Support / 1 Year North America (N.A.) Accidental Coverage (Accidental Requires Registration)

          My main query now is weather to include an SSD in the mix, I'm concerned 120GB wouldn't be enough once all my main programs are installed on it. It would mean I would probably have to jump down to a 2720QM and loose the upgraded screen. Even then it would bump the price up over the set up above. Is the SSD worth the huge price tag in an Architectural laptop?

          Thanks again for all your help, much appreciated!


            The screen is just personal preference... all the desktop displays we get for the office are matte - personally, I can't stand glossy screens. I'm sure the colors will be just fine with a matte screen.

            Tough call on the SSD. I love having an SSD, but honestly, as far as Revit goes, you won't notice it much other than starting Revit up. Revit performance is the same. Would I trade it for a slightly faster CPU? Probably not if I the laptop was going to also be my "personal" computer (i.e. I would get the SSD). If it was strictly for Revit/Office use, I'd be awfully tempted to stick with the faster CPU. But I'd probably figure out a way to have both. BTW, 120 GB is plenty for your OS and apps and a few Revit projects. Not enough for your entire archive of projects, or a big iTunes collection.

            Are you really getting two 750GB hard drives or is that just a typo?

            The GTX 560M should be plenty good for Revit (* though I have no idea whether Revit has any compatibility issues with any specific GPU).

            That 14 GB RAM configuration is baffling. I don't think Dual Channel works unless the modules are paired... so I don't know how (1) 4GB & (1) 2GB module can run in Dual Channel - but maybe they know something I don't.

            Well, I think I've offered as much as I can here - good luck with your purchase! Make sure to follow up and let us know how it works out.


              I have used a Dell Precision notebook M6400 for the last three years and use it to run Revit 2012, Max Design and AutoCAD. It is configured with 8Gb RAM, a quad core cpu and 1920 by 1200 17" screen. Since it is a Precision system, it is under a three year next business day warranty. One of the other guys in our office has just got a Dell Precision M4600 for around $NZ3,000 ex GST which seems to go very well. This has been bought to run Revit and AutoCAD.


                I love my ASUS G7 i got before the whole sandy bridge came out (one week later) they make a good laptop for the price!


                  Thought I'd post here... I am finally getting around to collecting the funds needed (wanted) for a new laptop. Here are the specs I'm currently looking at:

                  NVIDIA GeForce GT555M 2Gb GDDR3
                  Comes with Optimus technology (when not needed it shuts down and relies on Intel HD Graphics... not quite sure how this works though)
                  Mobile Intel HM65 Express chipset
                  Intel i7-2640M 4MB Cache, 2.8Ghz (3.5Ghz Turbo mode) Dual Core (could also be a Quad Core off course but this has the highest single core speed)
                  16GB Corsair DDR3-1333MHz
                  128GB SSD Samsung 830-series
                  750GB 7200rpm HDD

                  any thoughts?
                  Martijn de Riet
                  Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
                  MdR Advies
                  Planta1 Revit Online Consulting


                    Hi Martijn, that looks like a nice setup!

                    However, more than ever (and think RAC2013), more cores the better. The quad core i7-2760QM will make it to 3.5GHz, and the i7-2780QM will make it to 3.6GHz... so really there's no excuse! (well, money and size might still factor in ).

                    Yesterday, I would have said it would be crazy not to wait for Ivy Bridge (new CPU), which is expected to be released in April. However, today, there are rumors that Ivy Bridge won't become widely available until later in the summer, so that might be too long to wait (if the rumors prove to be true).

                    Good luck!


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